March 9, 2017, by Liz Cass
Midlands Innovation welcomes the publication of the Midlands Engine strategy
The Government has today (9 March) set out the strategic framework for the Midlands Engine, addressing key productivity barriers. This will be achieved through improving connectivity, strengthening skills, supporting enterprise and innovation, promoting trade and enhancing quality of life across the Midlands.
Sir David Greenaway, Chair of Midlands Innovation and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nottingham said: “We welcome the launch of the Government’s ambitious strategy for the Midlands Engine. The Midlands is the UK’s manufacturing powerhouse, has unique strengths and real potential to achieve more. The strategy clearly recognises this. As the research engine of the region, Midlands Innovation Universities will play a critical role in supporting the delivery of the Midlands Engine strategy.”
Midlands Innovation pools the collective excellence of universities in the Midlands to power growth across the region. It led the delivery of one of the first Science and Innovation Audits for the region which has since been adopted by the Midlands Engine’s Innovation group.
The partnership is already making a difference, helping create world-class centres of excellence – one such example is the Energy Research Accelerator (ERA) bringing together Midlands Innovation and the British Geological Survey in a cross-disciplinary hub of technology research and energy talent in the Midlands. In addition the group is working with Government and leading industrial partners from across the region on a major new transport technology initiative. In partnership with business, the Transport Innovation Accelerator will build on the historical strengths of the Midlands to create a national hub for transport innovation. This will act as a global beacon of excellence for technology companies with export potential, attracting talent and inward investment in the UK.
The University of Nottingham recently began work on a £25m Institute for Advanced Manufacturing will also house the flagship Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre for manufacturing technology in another strong industrial partnership for the university.
The state of the art facility is part of a £100m investment in Advanced Manufacturing at the University that includes a £10.3m Government Funded Composite Manufacturing Research Hub announced by Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson MP.
He said: “Developing new innovative manufacturing techniques will help UK industry create new products, explore more business opportunities and ensure the UK becomes more competitive and productive”
The Hub will accelerate the potential of advanced polymer composite materials for automated manufacturing technologies, addressing automation and high rate processing; state-of-the-art simulation techniques; multifunctional materials and structures; advanced inspection technologies; recycling and re-use. The new materials will also feature in components and structures for demanding applications, particularly in the aerospace, transportation, construction and energy sectors.
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